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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 28, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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03/28/12 03/28/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> it violates an equally of debt principal and the constitution, which is the federal government is not supposed to big government that has all powers. it is supposed to be a government of limited powers. that is what this questioning has been about. what is left, what else can the government not do?
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>> the supreme court challenges the constitutionality of the individual mandate in obama's affordable care act. we will speak with wendell potter, the former spokesperson for cigna and human entrance, now whistleblower. he is author of, "deadly spin: an insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate pr is killing health care and deceiving americans." how safe are security scanners at airports? are the even effective? the future of pakistan and afghanistan. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the supreme court continues to hold a historic session on the constitutionality of the affordable care act for the
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third and final day. on tuesday, justices heard arguments over an issue that heart of the health care law, the individual mandate requiring most people buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. we will have more on the hearings after headlines. details continue to emerge on the killing of the 17-year-old florida teenager trayvon martin. according to abc news, the lead homicide investigator at the crime scene called for manslaughter charges against martin's shooter, george zimmerman, on the night of the shooting. in an affidavit, the investigator, chris serino, said he had doubts about zimmerman's accounts serino was overruled by the state's attorney's office, which accepted zimmerman's claim of self-defense. on tuesday, trayvon martin's parents, sybrina fulton and tracy martin, testified before a house panel on hate crimes and racial profiling. >> trayvon was our son, that he is your son. a lot of people can relate to our situation.
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it breaks their heart just like it breaks mine. thank you for everything. >> i would like to say thank you to everyone who supported our family, everyone who has helped us stand tall in this matter. everyone who is holding the legacy of trayvon and making sure that he did not die in vain. i would like to say thank you. he is sadly missed. we will continue to fight for justice for him. >> also speaking at the hearing were congressmembers cedric richmond and frederic de wilson. >> as a member of congress, i as a black man who wears a hoodie, and i as a black man who buys canyon walks down the street drinking iced tea all the time, i am trayvon martin >> this investigation is laced with
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racial profiling, lies, and murder. trayvon was hunted, chased, tackled, and shot. ill-conceived laws and lax gun laws all contribute to this tragedy. in closing, mr. zimmerman should be arrested immediately for his own safety. >> in the new york legislature, a number of legislators were put these in session, including new york state senator eric adams, a former new york city police officer. the environmental protection agency has proposed the first- ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. under the rule, new power plants would be required to keep emissions under 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for every megawatt hour of electricity. what republicans are vowing to fight the measure for going too far, some environmental groups
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have criticized the obama administration for exempting existing plants as well as allowing a number of loopholes. the rule exempts pollution from burning biomass and also grant waivers to plants they use carbon capture and storage technology, whose efficiency is under dispute. in a statement, greenpeace usa called the new rules "welcome, but disappointing." more than a dozen afghan soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of plotting a major attack inside the afghan defense ministry in kabul. the defense ministry was placed under lock down on tuesday after suicide vests were found inside its fortified compound. the arrests follow a spate of attacks by afghan soldiers against members of the u.s.-led nato occupation force. as of this week, afghan troops have been responsible for one- third of all u.s. troops deaths in afghanistan so far this year. the former head of poland's intelligence service has been charged with helping the cia establish a secret prison as part of the bush
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administration's so-called war on terror. zbigniew siemiatkowski is accused of a filing international law by "unlawfully depriving prisoners of their liberty" for his alleged role in helping the cia set up a secret prison or torture was used. the charges mark the first high- profile case for a former senior official of any government has been prosecuted for the cia program. fighting continues in syria despite president bashar al- assad's public appearance -- acceptance of a u.n.-brokered ceasefire plan. the syrian observatory for human rights says 31 people, including 18 civilians, were killed in nationwide clashes tuesday. 13 soldiers were also reportedly killed. the u.n. middle east on voice said up to now 9000 people have been killed in year-long syrian crackdown. but resulting in scores of people killed and injured. credible estimates put the death toll since the beginning of the uprising one year ago to more
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than 9000. it is urgent to stop the fighting and prevent further violent escalation of the conflict. immediate steps are needed from the syrian government to act on their commitments and demonstrate to the syrian people that they are ready for a cessation of violence and issues on which the special joint envoy also engaged the opposition critics a major gas leak on an offshore platform in the north sea near scotland has spurred widespread accusations amid fears of an explosion. -- widespread evacuations amid fears of an explosion. the french energy company said it could take up to six months to stop the flow of gas. the world is on the verge of reaching critical irreversible damage. one scientists call this critical decade for curbing global warming saying a tipping point for irreversible damage to polar ice sheets is probably already passed. research shows the world's
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temperature could rise by six degrees celsius by the end of the century of greenhouse gas emissions continue to escalate. the arizona state senate has voted to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. the vote was 20 to 10 with one republican joining democrats in opposition. the measure now goes to arizona's state house. six days have passed similar abortion bans in the past two years. seven members of a christian militia in the midwest have been acquitted on charges of sedition and conspiracy. the cues are part of a group called the hutaree. they were arrested two years ago for alleged plot to spark organs the federal government by planning to kill a law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral procession. on tuesday, a federal judge in michigan ruled the defendants' actions were protected by first a minute rights to free speech. two members of the militia still face less severe charges of possession of illegal weapons. supporters of the jailed environmental activist tim dechristopher are raising new concern about his treatment behind bars.
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he is currently serving a two- year sentence for posing as a bidder to prevent oil and gas drilling on thousands of acres of public land. according to legal defense, tim dechristopher was recently removed from a minimum security prison ward into an isolated cell known as a special housing unit. he reportedly shares the tiny cell with another prisoner, and has been allowed outside of it just four times over two weeks. tim dechristopher's freedom to read books, write in his journal, and communicate with the outside world have all come under new restrictions. to hear interviews with tim dechristopher, go to a federal judge has barred the importation of a drug used in executions of death row prisoners. tuesday, judge richard leon of the federal district court in washington ruled the federal drug administration had unlawfully allowed sodium thiopental into the united states. the case was brought on behalf of death row prisoners in arizona, california, and
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tennessee. in his ruling, judge leon chided the fda for what he called a " california is indifference to the health consequences of those imminently facing the executioner's needle." republican hopeful newt gingrich has announced he's scaling back as campaign, cutting back on appearances, and laying off one- third of his staff. gingrich has suffered a string of losses in recent primaries. amnesty international is accusing the u.s. of systematic immigration against -- systemic immigration against hispanics and native americans along the u.s.-mexico border. in a new report, amnesty says federal immigration programs operated with state and local police put communities of color along the border at risk of discriminatory profiling. the report also find indigenous communities along the border are often intimidated and harassed by border officials for speaking little english or spanish and holding only tribal identification documents. amnesty says harsh policing is
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indirectly jeopardize in migrants' right to life, forcing them to track their treacherous terrain that led to more than 5200 deaths from 1998 to 2008. amnesty is calling on u.s. to suspend immigration enforcement programs pending a review. a jetblue airplane has been forced to make an emergency landing in texas tuesday after its captain, the pilot, a police suffered a mental breakdown and accosted passengers on board. the pilot emerged from the cockpit ranting about threats from iraq, iran, afghanistan and urging passengers to recite the lord's prayer as he marched through the cabin. passengers restrained him while a co-pilot and another pilot who happen to be on board landed the airplane. the american civil liberties union has released records showing the fbi san francisco delusion collected information on religious activities protected by the constitution. the fbi is banned by law from
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keeping records on people's religious practices unless there is a clear law-enforcement purpose. the aclu said they violated that law. members of a food cooperative in brooklyn, new york have rejected a proposal to hold a referendum on boycotting goods from israel. the park slope food co-op, one of the largest in the country, had drawn international attention for its debate on whether to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, or bds, demanding israel and the occupation of palestinian land and grant palestinian citizens equal rights. tuesday night, co-op members defeated the proposal by a vote of one hand -- 1005 to 653. in a statement, organizers behind the bds call of the co-op said -- "despite our loss, we have succeeded in one of our goals.
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bds has entered into the consciousness of thousands of co-op members and has even made it into mainstream conversations thanks to the huge amount of media coverage." this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. on tuesday, the supreme court continued its historic session on the constitutionality of the affordable care act, the landmark healthcare reform bill signed by president obama. conservative judges question whether the u.s. government has the power to penalize americans who have no medical coverage. the individual mandate requires most people to buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. the nine judges spent about two hours questioning attorneys on the controversial individual mandate. antonin scalia in particular expressed concern that congress and the federal government would have unlimited powers if the law was upheld. >> the argument here is that this also is may be necessary,
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but not proper because it violates an equally of the principal in the constitution, which is the federal government is not supposed to be a government that has all powers. it is supposed to be a government of limited powers. that is what this questioning has spent about but what is left of the government can do this, what else can it not do? >> the supreme court hears its final arguments today on the constitutionality of the health care overhaul law, focusing on whether the law can survive if the justices decide to strike the individual mandate. the case is expected to have huge implications for the nation in the 2012 elections and being followed closely by all sides of the health-care debate. to talk more about the debate and what is happening, we're joined by wendell potter, former executive at cigna and jim hannah. he was out of the supreme court tuesday. he is the author of "deadly spin: an insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate pr is killing health care and deceiving americans."
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wendell potter, a welcome back to "democracy now!" kenny talk about the questions raised by the judges and how you think the affordable care act is fairing and the supreme court? >> i think the questions raised by the judges were to be expected. i think most of their questions were along the lines of expansion of government and where are the limits of government. that does not surprise me a bit. i do not think we should read into their questions with the court will actually decide. one of the things that was said in one of the sound bites was the justice said, i think it was scalia, is this may be necessary, but is it proper? i think there is a realization the mandate is necessary. if we expect to try to expand health-care coverage and bring down costs, you've got to have an individual mandate, is what i think ultimately decided to.
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>> can you explain why the individual mandate is so controversial? >> the issue became political as to know the idea of an individual mandate is a conservative idea. it can be traced back to the proposal that came out of the heritage foundation in the 1990's in response to the clinton health care reform plan. you would think the republicans would embrace this. i think the president fell he could get bipartisan support in congress if he did go along with it. he was lobbied heavily by the insurance industry as was congress. but there are a lot of people who do not like barack obama. the people i saw outside court yesterday were people i think would not vote for barack obama under any circumstances. they see this as a political issue, as a way to try to turn people away from the president, not just the reform act.
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>> polls have been done that show the vast majority of americans, something like three- quarters of americans, think this is a political decision that is being made by the supreme court. we go back to citizens united and before that, gore v bush. the me ask about and and and scalia asking the obama administration's lawyer, donald verrilli, to defend the controversial individual mandate provision of the affordable care act. >> everybody has to buy food sooner or later. therefore, everybody is in the market there for, you can make people buy broccoli. >> i am convinced everyone is going to be calling it baraco lli. >> there have been discussions by punsters, but analysts in the past two said what is next, a
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requirement to buy broccoli? it was an inevitable question. again, it is the question about the limits of government. when you're being asked a question by an advocate of small government or a strict interpretation of the constitution, then i think you would see a question like that. clearly, i don't think anyone would expect the federal government would go so far as to require us to eat broccoli. that does not necessarily have anything to do with interstate commerce or the commerce of the country. but not the other thing, i don't think -- from the recordings and transcripts i have seen and read, the government's attorney was quite a prepared to defend the act. i think we saw something, in my view, was a continuation of the administration's inability to rally communicate about the affordable care act. >> one of the criticisms that
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has been leveled against it has to do with its cost. you talk elsewhere about -- first of all, the u.s. has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world. can you say a little bit about how you suggest health care costs in the u.s. can be cut and how the affordable care act either fails or succeeds in fulfilling some of the things pointed to, some of the measures that could be taken? >> the affordable care act would bring down the deficit, curtail government spending. one of the things that is necessary to control health care spending is to bring more people into coverage. the affordable care act would do that by expanding medicaid and provide subsidies to many millions who are not eligible for a public plan. when you get more people in coverage, they behave differently. they do not go to seek care all the time and the emergency room.
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it would alleviate the cost shifting that is the hallmark of the american health-care system. the affordable care act is a -- it is not what we ultimately mean. it does not bring everyone in the coverage, even with the individual mandate. there are people who could be exempted from that requirement. in fact, it is only estimated about 30 million of the 50 million uninsured would be brought into coverage if the affordable care act does move forward. we eventually have to get the for-profit insurance companies out of providing coverage, and need to move toward a system or systems like any other developed countries that do not permit for-profit companies to run their health care systems. there are states that are looking at single payer, vermont in particular, has already passed a bill that would establish a single payer system
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in vermont. i think there'll be a growing recognition that is probably the ultimate way to control costs and bring everyone into coverage. >> samuel alito asked about burial services saying if young people can be required to get health insurance under the law, they could be required to get burial insurance. >> simply walk around downtown washington at lunch hour and we found a couple of healthy young people in stockton said, do you know what you're doing? you are financing or burial services right now. eventually you will die and someone will have to pay for it. if you do not have burial insurance, it will shift the cost to someone else. >> your response, wendell potter? >> again, i think it is an absurd suggestion young people will have to buy burial insurance. i think the justices are testing, trying to determine what will they right, what will they say when they make a decision this coming summer.
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i myself and somewhat agnostic and detached from the outcome of what the justices decide. i think it is important for us to bring more people into coverage. in that regard, i think the affordable care act should move forward. but it is beyond any of our control. if it is declared unconstitutional, then the decision will be made is the entire act unconstitutional? if it is declared unconstitutional, we will have chaos in the health care system. it will certainly have a huge impact on the campaign's and elections this november. >> how is it this debate is taking place in english -- how big is it that this debate is taking place in this election year? >> it is very significant. regardless of what the decision is, it will inspire those who do not like the president, who do
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not like the health care law to be more involved in the campaign. frankly, if it is declared unconstitutional, those who support the president and have long advocated for health-care reform will be outraged and especially inspired to get out and try to let progressives and democrats to congress. >> justice kennedy, everyone is looking at anthony kennedy. who could join the four liberal justice to uphold law, he said young, uninsured people affect the overall market by not paying into it and ultimately receiving care over the long term. >> entrance and health care world, both markets, the young person who is not insured is uniquely approximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the cost of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other
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industries. that is my concern in the case. >> that was the key justice, what most people are seen as the person is pivotal here, anthony kennedy. wendell potter, the questions he asked in particular and also, what is your assessment of the surgeon general? a lot of people are saying he did not to a very good job, that the liberal justices had to complete his sentence is to sort of pick up his arguments because he was not pulling his weight. >> first with justice kennedy, i think that particular question from others indicate he gets it, understands that our health care system is very dysfunctional. when you have a system that many young people cannot afford to buy coverage or decide not to, that skews the pool of people who do want to get coverage. it makes it more expensive for everyone. he understands we have an
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unsustainable health care system and health insurance system rigged the surgeon general, i am understand with what others have said, but i just do not think he was quite prepared to be persuasive, which is battling. this has been something that has been anticipated for quite a long time read as i said earlier, it seems to be continuations of baffling inability of the government to articulate the benefits of the affordable care act and the rationale for the individual mandate. >> on tuesday, i asked dr. steffie woolhandler, from physicians for national health program, what she would think of the supreme court were to reject the individual mandate as unconstitutional? >> the individual mandate is a very bad idea. the good parts are medicaid expansion, which does storycorps and individual mandate. some regulations on the
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insurance industry does not require a mandate. those could have been done without the mandate. the problem with the mandate is it is telling people that they have to turn over their money to the private health insurance industry. there are $447 billion in taxpayer money that will be turned over to the private health insurance industry. so the bill is strengthening the position of private health insurance industry. that is the very industry responsible for $380 billion in wasted healthcare dollars in bureaucracy and paperwork. >> that is steffie woolhandler are, progressive doctor who is the founder of physicians for national health program. she is against the individual mandate. wendell potter, you're a spokesperson for the major insurance companies cigna as well as humana. against them.ed to get the
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what do you say to dr. steffie woolhandler? >> i agree with much of what she said, but we live in a political world. it would not have been possible for congress to pass this law without the individual mandate. in new regulations on the entrance industry, the requirements that they now have two or soon will have to give coverage to everyone regardless of their health status or history, and some of the other very consumer-from the aspects of the affordable care act, it just would not have happened without the individual mandate. the reality is, the insurance industry is incredibly powerful in washington. president obama, when he was a candidate, did not embrace the individual mandate. in fact, he said he did not
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think it was appropriate for us to require people to buy coverage if they cannot afford it. he is a strong advocate of the public option. the industry lobbyists are so influential that he came around to supporting the individual mandate. >> and now, therefore, forcing every american to get even more money to the powerful industry. >> it will have that effect. there will be profits that they would not have had before as a consequence of it. to that extent, there is no doubt it is true. but nothing could have passed congress without that individual mandate. what we ultimately have to do in this country is figure out how we can reduce the power of the special interests. that is the ultimate work we have got to do. >> wendell potter, thank you for being with us, a former executive at cigna and humana
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and author of, "deadly spin: an insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate pr is killing health care and deceiving americans." this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. how safe are these scanners that millions of people are put through at the airport? ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break] >> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report.
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i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh.. >> how safe are the security scanners being used at airports? on monday, the house committee on oversight and government reform held a hearing to allow the tsa to try to explain why americans are subjected to such controversial procedures. the title of the hearing was, "effective security or security theater?" one guest's invitation was unceremoniously rescinded. >> bruce schneier, an outspoken critic of security measures used by the tsa, says he was formally un invited after the agency complained about his book opposition to body scanners. he wrote on his blog -- bruce schneier opposes full body scanners and their ineffective, misleading, and sometimes
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compromise passengers' dignity and health. is also critical of the tsa's approach to security threats. >> they're always preventing against what happened last time. terrorist used guns and bombs, tsa takes away guns and bombs terrorists used box cutters, they take away box cutters in knitting needles. terrorists put bombs in their shoes, underwear. this is a stupid game. we should stop playing it. >> bruce schneier is involved in a lawsuit filed by the electronic privacy permission center to get the tsa to stop using body scanners, pending in inan independent review. the tsa has installed about 640 full body scanners at 1 under 65 airports as of january of this year. for more we're joined by marc rotenberg, executive director of the electronic privacy
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permission center. also, michael grabell who has written, "money well spent?: the truth behind the trillion-dollar stimulus, the biggest economic recovery plan in history." i flew to minneapolis this began. i always opt out of the big new scanners read in minneapolis, when i said i did not want to do it, they make you wait for a while it is kind of punitive. they do not have to. eventually they say, ok, now you can come over. then she started to argue with me about the safety and said, "i don't see why you're not doing this. this is outrageous." i said, i do not even want to discuss it. nowhere did it tell me i had that option. she told me how it is much less dangerous than using a cell phone. i said, i just want to get to the airplane. she said, "do you use a cell phone?" i said, i do not want to answer that reat.
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she said, "i need to know if you use assault on." how often dc pregnant women and children being sent through a metal detector and others to the new scanners? what rights do we have? what concerns should we have about scanners? after going to this major ordeal, i got to the gate and the airplane was canceled, but that is beside the point. >> it is important to note that our two kinds of scanners. one emits radiation that could lead to cancer. that is the bac scanner machine. it looks like to blue boxes. there is another machine called a millimeter wave machine. >> we will show those images right now. for people listening on the radio, you can go to our website say concede the distinctions. >> the millimeter wave machine is kind of like a round glass
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phone with. you put your hands over your head and the machine spends around the print that emit electromagnetic radiation, similar to a cellphone and considered safer. it has not been linked to cancer. the questions that experts have raised is about these backscatter machines. why are we using the one we have other technologies that do not have the risk of additional cancer? >> what was the response to your question? >> essentially, competition. we want to not have just one source. we want to keep the companies tried to build a better mousetrap. by having two scanners, we can achieve that. a lot of other countries have or looked at this decision and said, we're only going to go with the mm machine. >> how much we know about the milly weight machine, the one where you put your hands up and it looks like a big round phone booth?
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who actually did the testing on this? to the scientists understand exactly what it would be used for? >> we know very little about this area of technology. what we know is there is a difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. this machine was built specifically back in the 1990's during one of the presidential debate, president george h.w. bush stood up with a really tiny metal gun saying the metal detector cannot detect this. they funded a program to develop the ability to detect plastic guns. that is what led to the development. it was meant to be something that did not have a high risk. >> marc rotenberg, what is your concern?
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why are you suing on behalf of bruce schneier? >> let me say, first of all, that it has been investigating use of these devices and other security devices at u.s. airports for several years. it was the freedom of information act lawsuit that we pursued against the tsa, which led to the public release of the technical specifications of the devices as well as contracts. when we got those documents and sat down of technical experts, one of the first things that occurred to us was the devices, as specified by the federal government, were not effective. in other words, it was fairly easy to figure out how to defeat the body scanners the tsa was spending all this money on. our first concern was they do not work. as we started the documents -- study the documents are, we
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became aware of privacy risks the tsa had not described. the devices were to store in record images. yet people going through -- essentially, it is like an x-ray digital camera. it takes a picture of you with no clothing on could with the capability of storing images, the privacy risk was substantial. the third issue that came up is the health risk. we did not have the expertise to a vibrate the health impact, but decided it was vitally important to have an independent evaluation and every time the tsa is pressed on that issue, they always point to studies that they have arranged with other federal agencies. there simply refused to allow independent experts to make their own evaluations. for all of these reasons, the lack of effectiveness, the privacy evasiveness as well as the failure of the agency to conduct a real independent evaluation, we have sued to have
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the program suspended. what the federal court in washington ruled last year was because passengers have a right to opt out, a legal right established by our case, it is permission to pull for them to continue the program. -- it was permissible for them to continue the program. the could not push this forward as they have done without receiving comments from the public. that is where we are now. we're waiting on the tsa to begin the formal public comment process, which will allow, by the way, medical experts to voice their opinions and concerns for continued use of these devices. >> on the question of the effectiveness of these machines, earlier this month the government responded angrily to a youtube video allegedly showing a florida man sneaking a metallic object through two different devices at an airport.
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the tsa refused to discuss guns whether he has a method to beat the machine -- discuss whether the man has a method to beat the machine. let's go to a clip of that video. >> here are several images produced by the kiss anybody images. they're considering metallic objects you can see as a black shape. that is like figure, a black background, like threat items. yes, if you have a metallic object on your side, it would be the same color as the background, therefore, completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection. it cannot possibly be that easy to beat the tsa's new body scanners, right? the tsa cannot be that stupid, can they? unfortunately, they can and our. i broke out my eighth grade home
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ec skills. this would easily alarm in the of the old metal detectors. i walked through a florida airport. you can watch as i walk to the security line, to object to my new side pocket. i carry its place on the conveyor belt. when it comes out, i am through any of it never left my pocket. >> jonathan corbett replicates the similar at other airports. your response? >> i did see the video and we studied a pretty carefully. look, on its face, it is compelling. we did not do an independent the vibration of that approach. although, i have said there are other approaches that have been documented and well known in terms of defeating the body scanners. but what makes the case for me was listening to the house
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oversight committee earlier. if you listen to the exchange between the members of that committee and representatives of tsa, it is well known these are not effective. there are a variety of ways in which they can be bypassed. when the oversight committee and agency itself concedes there are significant vulnerabilities, i think that answers the question. the question that still needs to be answered, and i will come back to this, is why hasn't the agency fell to give the public a meaningful opportunity to express its views about this program -- why hasn't the agency given the public a meaningful opportunity to express its views about this program? you describe when some exercises their right to opt out, they fell almost coerced or punished. their question about why they do
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not like the device. none of that is right. i think the agencies should be held to account people are not able to exercise your legal freedoms. >> i want to talk about who is making these machines, who is profiting, and their connection to the department of homeland security. during a hearing in 2010, the former chairman of the house aviation committee, representative john duncan of tennessee, questioned the role of lucrative government contracts in the tsa's body scanning machines. >> far too many federal contracts are sweetheart insider deals. companies magically, those companies get huge a profitable federal contracts. the american people should not have to choose between having full body radiation or a very embarrassing interests a pat down every time they fly as if they were criminals. a >> also and 2010, republican congressmember ron paul accused
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former u.s. homeland security chief michael chertoff of making money off selling the new equipment id >> we also know there are individuals who are making money off this bridge michael chertoff, i mean, here was the guy at the head of the tsa selling the equipment. we don't even know if he quit networks. it may be dangerous to our help but >> that is ron paul. michael grabell, yet in writing about the court connections. what about this, michael chertoff in the corporation's he is connected to? >> he now runs his chertoff group, which has a lot of people from homeland security to have gone into the private sector. one company they were advising in 2009, 2010 was rapiscan, the maker of these x-ray body scanners. rapiscan and the tsa say what
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was consulting on was international contracts and nothing domestic, nothing having to do with the scanners. i found some freedom of information request asking for emails. it turns out secretary chertoff did not use e-mail when he was at homeland security. i have other emails and there was no smoking gun that shows he had a role. we know he supported this within the agency. we don't know that is profiting directly from the scanners. what we do know is for a long, long time, there was a lot of opposition about the scanners for privacy reasons, for safety reasons. all around 2006, there was a big ramp up of a lobbying campaign by both companies, rapiscan and l-3. there were big contributions, a political action committees set up. they started gaining more and more acceptance around this
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time. that is not a direct -- you cannot call it a direct link because we also started discovering our airport security was woefully short for testing explosives. there was a lot of controversy about, did you know you could get through an airport with explosives? there is a lot of money involved. >> you also comment on this bridge you often see chertoff on television ramping up the whole concern and fear at airports, but never do they talk about his connection, the chertoff group, consulting, for example, rapiscan. >> the connection was reported several years ago. i think it was in "the washington post." michael chertoff did concede his company and consulting group receive roughly $1 million from rapiscan the year after he stepped down as secretary of homeland security. there's quite a lot of this that goes on, by the way. it is part of our objection to
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the -- this is system. oftentimes, there been done to give money to federal officials who had some role in evaluating the previously. it is an inefficient use, i think, of government resources. also when you think about the adoption of the systems in the u.s. and you contrast that with how other countries have simply said it does now makes sense to us so we're not going to do it, the health concerns were identified in fact by european governments a couple of years ago, they essentially have rejected the bac scanner x-ray. they still may use the millimeter wave. we have an opportunity for independent evaluation and lobbyists are not able to push through the thought out programs, you get a better outcomes. we're not getting a good outcome in part because of the significant role money plays in
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these decisions. the >> what about exposure of the people themselves, the tsa workers around these machines? >> the tsa screener is, i've spoken to many who are scared of the machines. there are others who are comfortable. the tsa and the steady that condition themselves show it to be a small amount, do not consider them radiation workers. there are lots of tsa screeners the people in the public to say, why not let them wear radiation badges so we can find out for sure? >> before 2001, people have to wear them. do not pilots and stewardesses it to opt out? .hat tells us something critic
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>> the tsa has refused to let them. >> i think the tsa is going to make them available to the tsa officials to work with the devices. we and watching this pretty closely. a few months ago, there was an indication the tsa was launching a pilot program to make funds available. they would maintain there is no health risk, but there's been quite a lot of concern expressed. i think they're beginning to of knowledge to people should have the right to least know the level of exposure they may be subject to. >> i'm looking at a 2010 piece about janet napolitano current department homeland security secretary saying -- airline passengers might want to consider a trip to the gym before heading to the airport at the high-tech body scanners have been unveiled a kennedy airport. the permanent homeland security janet napolitano held it as an important breakthrough for fight against terrorism but when it
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came to testing devices, which produce chalky, naked x-rays of passengers, she turned the floor over to some great volunteers. i do not know if it was she did not want the pictures or exposure. but what about that, michael? the secretary herself did not want to go through it. >> it is interesting. >> what happened to those pictures? >> marc rotenberg may have more knowledge but i understand the millimeter wave machines that look like a round glass phone booths only create a generic picture of you. everyone looks the same bre. the bac shows party may not won a screener to see a view. this has been a big concern of the program for a long time. >> marc rotenberg?
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>> both devices captured the complete detail, the images they show can be filtered they did that to address privacy concerns. the privacy risks remain. we believe the program should be suspended pending an independent evaluation. >> teaching children, pregnant women should go through? >> i am not a medical expert, but it concerns me the tsa has been reluctant to let medical experts make that evaluation. >> thank you for being with us. when i was at another airport and were not letting children and permit women go through, i said, isn't this a sign no one should go through crushed rock they were not pleased with my response and i had to wait for even longer for the very aggressive pat down. marc rotenberg from epic and michael grabell, thank you for being with us. we will be talking about president obama is meeting with
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pakistani leader in korea. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> top u.s. and pakistani military officials will meet in the pakistani capital islamabad today in the first high-level talks since the nato airstrikes killed two dozen pakistani soldiers last member. commander of the u.s. central command general james mattis and commander of the international security assistance force in afghanistan general john allen will meet chief of staff of the pakistan army general parvez kayani. the meeting follows on the heels of president barack obama and pakistani prime minister yousuf raza gilani meeting yesterday on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in south korean capital seoul. president obama told prime minister gilani he hoped a parliamentary review of strained relations with washington would be balanced and would respect u.s. security needs.
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>> i want to express my appreciation to prime minister gilani for the work he has done and try to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. there have been times i think of the last several months or those relations have had serious strains but i welcome back to parliament and pakistan is reviewing after some extensive study, the nature of this relationship. >> hundreds of activists demonstrated to protest the government's decision to hold a parliamentary review of relations with the u.s.. this is the head. >> if there is talk to reviewing policy with america, if there is talk of a reassessment, in the first issue to be tackled as that of the war on terror we give logistic support to america
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and the so-called war against terrorism. we give them sensitive airports to use. we give them permission for drone attacks. we carried out military operations. we did everything possible. it's a policy review has to take place, then the first thing to do is to get out of this war on terror. >> in the past year, relations between pakistan and u.s. have soured following the raid that killed bin laden, an increase in drone attacks, the killing of two pakistani spicy a contractor raymond davis, and a u.s. airstrike last november that killed 24 pakistani soldiers. pakistan cut nato supply lines into afghanistan subsequently. to talk more, we're joined by ahmed rashid. his most recent book is called, "pakistan on the brink: the future of america, pakistan and afghanistan." let's talk about what happened
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in afghanistan most recently, the u.s. soldier believed to have killed 17 afghanis. can you talk about the effect in afghanistan, pakistan, and what that followed before, the koran burnings and even before? >> there been three incidents in the past month involving u.s. troops and afghan civilians. for the u.s. troops, very negative actions they took. as far as the koran burning, there was widespread rioting in the country. more than a dozen people were killed. and the surging killing 17 people, there's almost an anchor in the south -- and the search and killing 17 people. inflammatory statements have been made. he has had to play to the
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gallery and expressed his grief to the afghan families, which has led to calling the americans say can and the devil and things like that. we are in a serious crisis. the tensions between karzai and the americans, between pakistan and the americans -- pakistan is critical because their house in the taliban leadership. there is very little support in the region from iran, china, russia, central asia, for a long-term american presence. beyond 2014, when the poll out is due. the americans say we want to sign a strategic contact with karzai to go up to a least 2020. similar to iraq. the iraqis said, no, please,
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leave. go now. there are no american troops left behind on coat iraq. karzai -- he wants to sign it, but everyone is against it. the taliban, the regional country, and a lot of the outsiders. >> apart from that, in response to these incidents that you have described, what concrete demands is the karzai government making of the u.s.? >> concretely, demanding to things in order to sign the contract. one u.s. in night raids. these are you a special forces to go out night to capture or kill so-called taliban. we do not know who they are. a lot of times it is innocent civilians, misguided intelligence, etc. 2000 at rates have taken place in the last 12 months. you can see the scope of that. karzai saying we want to end
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these night raids and a best, we hand them over to the special forces to do. that is one major bone of contention. the second is, he wants to do with pakistan. he wants pakistan to give up on the taliban leaders it is holing. obviously, he once the americans to put pressure on that. the third issue is the question of prisoners. there are thousands of prisoners being held a few in guantanamo, but the majority in the main american base at bagram. 2000 prisoners are being held there. he was the prisoners to be turned over to the outlying authorities immediately. they say the afghan authorities do not have the capability, the means to guard or look after. >> we will continue this offline and posted on
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in a few hours. ahmed rashid, his new book is called, "pakistan on the brink: the future of america, pakistan and afghanistan." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]


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